124. Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and King Hassan of Morocco, via a French Interpreter,1 2

Nixon: Good Afternoon, Your Majesty. I have disturbed you this afternoon to present to you my views on a subject that I consider to be of the greatest importance, the vote in the United Nations on Chinese representation, which will occur on Tuesday. As you know, since we had the opportunity to meet in 1957, I have always had the very greatest respect for you and also for the independence and integrity of your country. And because I cherish our personal relationship, I want to speak to you in the frankest terms about this important issue. It is my conviction that the removal of an honorable member of the United Nations by a simple majority vote would be a precedent of the most disastrous consequences. It could have the most serious implications for the future survival of this organization. And for this reason, I would ask you to consider voting with the United States in favor of making the issue of expelling the government of Taiwan an “important question” and at the same time to support the position in establishing this matter as one of priority during Tuesday’s deliberation. I believe this is in the interest of the United Nations in the future, because if any member can be expelled at any time by a simple majority vote, this could unravel the organization in years to come. And if if you could find it possible to vote with the United States on this issue alone, that is of the “important question,” I would consider it a very great personal favor. And I look forward, Your Majesty, to our meeting again at some time. I know we have planned it, but events have intervened, and I—Mrs. Nixon and I look forward to welcoming Your Majesty at a time convenient to you in our country.

HASSAN: (via interpreter): His Majesty would like to thank you, Mr. President,—

Nixon: Yes, yes. Thank you.

HASSAN (via interpreter):—for your kind expressions. Please convey my best personal greetings to Mrs. Nixon. I have personally looked into this matter of China. I know that it is a highly delicate issue. I have explained this to Mr. Rockwell. And it was my intention to look into this matter again this afternoon with my government. I want you to tell the President that I fully understand the concern of the United States. I want you to tell the President that I am deeply touched that he has called me personally. Nixon: Mmm-hmmm.

HASSAN (via interpreter): And I want you to convey to the President my wishes for his personal happiness and prosperity, and I will not fail to send you a message regarding our position. This is all.

Nixon: Merci Beaucoup, Monsieur Le Presi—Mons—Your Majesty.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Oval Office, Conversation 12–106. Secret. The editor transcribed the portion of the tape recording published here specifically for this volume. Morocco was instrumental in the defeat of Washington’s proposal to retain Taipei as a UN member, by abstaining on the “important question” resolution. With the U.S. defeat, a simple majority successfully voted for Taiwanese expulsion. In telegram 198650 to Rabat, October 30, the Department sent a record of Newsom’s discussion with the Moroccan Chargé expressing U.S. disappointment. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files, 1970–73, POL MOR-US.)
  2. Nixon asked for the King’s support regarding the upcoming United Nations vote on a U.S. resolution to designate the expulsion of Taiwan an “important question” which would require a two-thirds majority vote.